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©2018 by Kelly Neff Speaks.

  • Kelly Neff

"If Only..."

Updated: Jan 29, 2019


Photo: Kelly Neff


A dear friend of mine recently introduced me to the story behind an amazing lady. This woman has been a great influence on our nation, but what I did not know was her story before she became the First Lady of the United States. The person I am speaking of is Eleanor Roosevelt.

What I learned about her made quite an impression on me because it relates so much to the message I feel compelled to share. You see, it does not matter where you live, how much money you make, the color of your skin, what titles you earn, or even what you believe. The one thing every human being has in common is the fact that none of us has the power to escape adversity.

Sometimes it is easy to fall into the “If only” trap. “If only” I had more money…, “If only” I lived in a different neighborhood…, “If only” my father hadn’t been an alcoholic…, “If only” I hadn’t been bullied when I was a kid…, “If only” I had not done that…, “If only” I had been there. There are a million “If only’s”, but they only lead to more heartache and emptiness.


Eleanor Roosevelt grew up with the benefit of wealth, but she was no stranger to pain, suffering, and adversity. She had a father who struggled with alcohol and drug addiction. Her mother died when she was eight years old, her younger brother died a year later, and her father a year after that. Her loss was great, but she learned over time that her past did not define her. She chose to face her fears head on every day. She became a great influencer in this country because she understood that the only limit we have is our own thinking.


Often, we are tempted to believe the lie that “If only”… then our lives would be different. But if we choose to believe that lie then what we are really saying is that we are prisoners to our past. That we have no hope of escaping the pain, but the truth is… you do have a choice, and there is hope, and there is healing. Instead of running from the pain, embrace it and face it head on.


Pain is filled with fear, fear that if you face your pain, it will be unbearable and never-ending, but that is a lie. The truth is you will be held captive by the pain if you continue to run from it. The truth is the only way to escape the pain is to walk through it. Yes, it hurts to walk through it, but there is healing and freedom on the other side.


So… do you want to live with pain that you can never out run, or are you willing to face the pain and walk down the path that leads to healing and freedom? The choice is yours but remember… fear is a liar.


May you choose to face your fears everyday and be set free from your pain!


Blessings dear friend!